When sitting down to write this week’s editorial, I pondered an opinion piece on a number of the stories we were working on.
Unfortunately, there appeared no way to avoid COVID-19 and the fifth – sigh – yes, fifth wave of the pandemic starring the Omicron virus.
I’ll leave you to read the news coverage.
Quite frankly, while as a newspaper we have to cover this continuing story, we, like most of you, are sick and tired of it.
Laying on the chiropractor’s table this week, Jason asked me what I thought. I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. I wondered if we’d erred badly collectively. Should we have allowed herd immunity to run its course and avoid the seemingly endless parade of vaccine boosters that may mark our futures. Flu shot? Check? Pneumonia shot? Check? Shingles vax? Check? Booster? Booster? Booster? Check. Check. Check.
And now, some of us are scrambling to figure out whether those Chrismas plans are on. If they are, what do we have to do to ensure everyone is safe? Others are rethinking that winter getaway. Our physical and mental healths are taking a hit on a week when we saw the least bit of daylight for the entire year.
I lit an outside bonfire on the solstice, a sort of middle finger to winter. And, I think it’s time we did the same with COVID. So, with this rawness, let’s talk about our feelings and coping.
I’d like to present my personal list of 10 ways I am trying to stay positive during winter’s icy grip and COVID’s continuing presence.
- – Finding inspiration. I’m reading two books at the moment. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, which brings me back to my Indian soul home. I’ve also just cracked The Golden Spruce. I’ve learned more about trees in the first 26 pages than I have learned in my lifetime. Find a documentary. Find a podcast.
- – I’m practicing gratitude. Every day I am thankful for where I live; the cottage roads I walk down; and the peace and tranquility in front of my living-room fire. What are you grateful for?
- – Seek out the positive people in your life. If some family members or friends are spiralling into negativity, choose to not go down that road with them.
- – While you might not be able to physically escape, find things that tap into your inner child or provide joy. For me, it’s colouring, playing in the snow, a long, hot bath.
- – Smile and say hello. Yup, I’ve got a mask on. But when you smile, people can see it in your eyes. Even while out walking, I’ll smile at drivers. Nine times out of 10, they smile back.
- – Reach out. I chat with strangers and I am connecting more with loved ones via text, messenger, phone calls, emails and Zoom.
- – Exercise. That’s a big one for me. My daily walks keep me sane.
- – Focusing on my four walls. I’m renovating. Again. This time, I’m in the laundry room. That fresh coat of paint makes me smile.
- -Take time to breathe. Maybe it’s a cup of tea. Find that ritual that allows you to stop for five minute intervals.
- – This might sound ironic, since I am a newspaper editor, but set limits on how much news you’re consuming or monitoring Facebook and other feeds so you don’t go down that rabbit hole.
Do have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!